|This story originally published on ScoutHoops.com|
LAS VEGAS – We spent much of the morning watching adidas games at the Super 64 and then made a switch and caught a couple of contests at the Nike's Main Event across town.
Gerald Henderson, SG, Playaz Gold: After watching his team go through the motions for much of the game, the Duke-bound athletic wing finally decided he'd had enough and he took over with a flurry of penetration moves and dunks to pull away from T.J. Ford Elite. Had 20 points in the win.
Earl Clark, SG-SF, Playaz Gold: There's no reason to define a position for this guy. He's just that versatile. Can play the point, two, three and maybe even the floor in a pinch. Along with Henderson, he came on late in the game and did what he does best – a little bit of everything. Still needs to work on his outside shot, but he drove to the basket and scored and also distributed to his teammates. So long and his handle is so good for a guy his size that he's tough to stop. Finished with 19 points.
Quincy Pondexter, SG, EBO: His stock has soared in the past month and while his game against the Bay Area Hoosiers wasn't his best in the last few weeks, it was still solid. Finished with 13 points – including one trifecta. He needs to make sure he doesn't get away from what make him effective in the past – penetrating and finishing strong with his athleticism.
Paul Harris, G, GC Ballers: He's another guy impossible to define position-wise. He played with a badly sprained ankle, but you'd never know it. He had one baseline move that was absolutely ridiculous and also hit a 3-pointer, but the thing he did best was find his teammates for open buckets in the open court.
Lazar Hayward, SG-SF, GC Ballers: His rep seems to be growing by the day because of his ability to score from everywhere. The former gunner from the perimeter now has a versatile offensive arsenal that included the top dunk of the day (the only problem was the the ref called it a charge despite the defender being almost directly underneath the basket). Scored 18 points in a win against the Wisconsin Swing.
Trevon Hughes, PG, Wisconsin Swing: The knock on the New York City point guard, who has spent the last couple years at a Wisconsin military school, is that he doesn't shoot it well from the outside. Nothing could have been further from the truth on Friday as he knocked down four 3-pointers and finished with 22 points in a loss to Paul Harris and the GC Ballers.
Daniel Deane, PF, Utah Pump ‘N Run: Think Mark Madsen because that's how hard this guy plays. Never takes a play off. Ever. Did a nice job finding his teammates, goes hard on the glass, battles through screens and also takes charges.
Raymar Morgan, F, King James Shooting Stars: Was the guy responsible for the team's upset victory against a loaded Houston Hoops team. Morgan puts it on the floor, knocks down shots from mid-range and also does work in the paint. Scored 18 points in the victory.
Brad Sheehan, C, Albany City Rocks: As his confidence grows, so does Sheehan's game. Had a couple of nice moves in the post and finished with a dozen points. Needs to get stronger and tougher, but he's getting there.
Josh Southern, PF, Michigan Mustangs: He may not be the most athletic big man in the class standing at 6-9 and 252 pounds, but Southern runs the floor fairly well, controls the glass and also has soft hands that allow him to finish effectively in the paint. Southern had a dozen points and eight boards in a victory against ICP in the morning.
Gary Johnson, PF, Houston Hoops: While nearly everyone else on his team seemingly took the game off against the King James team, Johnson did what he always does – works hard, especially inside. Scored 18 points in the setback.
Kosta Koufos, PF, King James 16's: This kid was worth the drive to an obscure gym out in Henderson. Extremely skilled and finished with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, against a much smaller team. Runs the floor well, has nice moves in the post – just needs to get stronger and do a better job of controlling the glass.
Harper Kamp, PF - The Arizona native put 34 points on another elite player from the Class of 2007 - Gani Lawal. Kamp plays as hard as about anyone - and gets a lot done.
Delvin Roe, F, King James 16's: Good athlete who is still growing. Didn't handle the ball or do much on the perimeter, but showed flashes of the potential that will have high-majors checking on him in the future.
Lorenzo Keeler, a fairly well-traveled guard from the west coast who spent last year prepping at Winchendon (Mass.), was lighting it up for the High Five team. He had 21 in the first half, including a trio of 3-pointers. Keeler's college status is still undecided. … Playaz rising junior wing Corey Stokes sat out with a bruised tailbone. He hopes to play on Saturday. … The Playaz could have used the services of big man Hashim Bailey, but he's taking summer classes at Winchendon in hopes of getting qualified for Memphis after this year.
If Paul Harris actually worked on his game outside of just playing games, his outside shot would definitely improve. However, Harris loves to play – and doesn't love to practice in the gym by himself.
Josh Southern said that Michigan State is the clear leader over Miami and Kentucky, primarily because the Spartans are the lone school of the trio to have put forth an offer. … Earl Clark said that Villanova remains in the lead with Louisville close behind. Those are clearly 1-2 and Clark would like to visit Louisville before making a decision. … Corey Stokes said that UNC is his leader, although it's still unclear how much interest the Tar Heels have expressed in the elite 2007 player. Stokes also mentioned Villanova, Rutgers, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Louisville. … Lazar Hayward said that Marquette leads with Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Seton Hall, UConn, Virginia, Pittsburgh and Charlotte also in the mix. … Paul Harris said he and Johnny Flynn, his teammate and a 2007 point guard, will likely announce they are headed to Syracuse upon their return to Niagara Falls late this month. Harris also said he's leaning towards attending Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) and joining Hayward over Laurinburg (N.C.) this year. … Rob Jackson, a 7-footer from Maryland who was nearly committed to Villanova, is open and will attend Prince Avenue Prep (S.C.) this year. Jackson mentioned Marshall, St. Bonaventure, Towson, Xavier, South Florida, Pittsburgh and George Mason. … Houston Select 6-10, 325-plus pound big man Dexter Pittman said that ASU and Texas are his co-leaders, but he mentioned that UNC, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Texas A&M are also in the mix. … Raymar Morgan admitted that Michigan State, the first school of the quartet he is considering to have offered, is the leader. He's also looking at Ohio State, Connecticut and Michigan – each of which he said has offered. … Edwin Ubiles lists Seton Hall, Siena, UMass, Memphis, LaSalle, Rhode Island and UConn. … Brad Sheehan likes Syracuse and Georgia Tech, along with Virginia, Providence, Rice, Notre Dame and West Virginia. Don't count out the Ivy's, either.
``Blow him up. The kid deserves it with the way he's played." – One assistant coach on Albany City Rocks forward Edwin Ubiles.
The Playaz drew a large coaching contingent: The Duke tandem of Coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Steve Wojciechowski, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Vermont coach Mike Lonergan, Rutgers coach Gary Waters, Illinois' Bruce Weber, UConn's Jim Calhoun, Villanova assistant Brett Gunning, Louisville assistant Kevin Willard, N.C. State assistant Larry Harris and Wake Forest assistant Dino Gaudio. … New Arizona assistant Miles Simon made his debut on the road in Vegas. … Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois and Pittsburgh each had assistants at Kosta Koufos' game. … St. Thomas More (Conn.) coach Jere Quinn, watching his son play for the Albany City Rocks.